Friday, April 17, 2015

Shutter by Courtney Alameda

2 "Overly Dramatic" Stars

Back Cover Blurb -
Horror has a new name: introducing Courtney Alameda.

Micheline Helsing is a tetrachromat—a girl who sees the auras of the undead in a prismatic spectrum. As one of the last descendants of the Van Helsing lineage, she has trained since childhood to destroy monsters both corporeal and spiritual: the corporeal undead go down by the bullet, the spiritual undead by the lens. With an analog SLR camera as her best weapon, Micheline exorcises ghosts by capturing their spiritual energy on film. She's aided by her crew: Oliver, a techno-whiz and the boy who developed her camera's technology; Jude, who can predict death; and Ryder, the boy Micheline has known and loved forever.

When a routine ghost hunt goes awry, Micheline and the boys are infected with a curse known as a soulchain. As the ghostly chains spread through their bodies, Micheline learns that if she doesn't exorcise her entity in seven days or less, she and her friends will die. Now pursued as a renegade agent by her monster-hunting father, Leonard Helsing, she must track and destroy an entity more powerful than anything she's faced before . . . or die trying.

Lock, stock, and lens, she’s in for one hell of a week.

Just fair warning, this review does not really contain any real description or an overview of the book itself, I’m mainly going to talk about why I rated it 2 stars and it has nothing to do with the storyline or premise of the actual book, because if based solely on that, I would have given it 4 stars, but unfortunately it isn’t and obviously I didn’t.
I need to start this off by being 100%, completely honest with you…I am NOT in the majority when it comes to my feelings and review of this book and usually when that happens, I am so confused as to why, but in this case I know why and it all boils down to personal taste in writing style and for me, I just didn’t like the “dramatic flair”, if you will, that Ms. Alameda uses all throughout Shutter. 
I’m more of a call-it-what-it-is kinda gal.  Sure, I enjoy descriptive phrases and edgy adjectives just like the next person, but I don’t enjoy being beat over the head constantly with grossly, often times silly, descriptive word use and there came a point while reading Shutter that I literally screamed out loud, because of my annoyance.  Hmmm…let me try to better explain.
How I usually like my books to read (this is NOT a scene that is found in the book, but an example):
"I walked down the dirt road and admired the spring flowers that lined the pathway.  With the sun setting in the horizon, it was a beautiful sight that filled me with a sense of peace."
Now, this is how that scene would have been described in Shutter:
"I trudged down the soot and dust strewn course while venerating the small growths that scored the vicinity, the ones that mother spring had birthed into existence.  The sun was slowly falling into slumber and the alluring vision it presented shepherded me to tranquil satiety."
Okay, so you get what I’m trying to say?  One or two or maybe even three overly descriptive phrases per chapter I would have been able to overlook, but three to four a page, sometimes more, was just overkill for me and I found it rather distracting.  I wasn’t able to get lost in the storyline, because rather than finding the writing style to be a beautiful form of dictation, all I could think was that somebody really loved their thesaurus.  The kicker to all of this too, is that Shutter is not some literary genius novel or even a book that delves into emotions or scenarios that would typically call for pretty words or flowery, over-the-top descriptions, it’s a mystery/thriller novel that is filled with ghosts, violence and death! 
Here are some real examples extracted from the book (and these are only a few, you can find many more littered throughout the book):
"The lights suffocated, then died and doused us in shadows". (The lights suffocated? Really?)
"I swung off the bike.  Fog hushed the property." (I never knew fog to hush)
"I sensed more than saw the sun set, felt the drowned slip of the light under the horizon." (I guess lights can drown too)
"The door wrenched free with a bark." (Again, really?)
"I followed Damian out into an anemic, waning night.  Spindly trees lined the wide avenue, shedding the gangrenous leaves of fall.  The world smelled terminal, waiting for winter and rot." (Wait, are we discussing the weather or a patient in the infectious disease ward?  Gangrenous, terminal and rot?)
"As soon as I dropped into my seat, exhaustion bricked in my eyes and filled my bones with mortar." (Seriously though, what kind of 18-year-old girl talks like that?)
There really are just so many more examples, but I’ll stop now, because for one, this review is getting way too long and two, it’s just making me annoyed all over again reading these.  Maybe I’m exaggerating a bit on the whole issue, but it became such a focal point for me, that I just couldn’t get past it.  Just couldn’t and oh, I really didn’t like our heroine in the story, so that did NOT help at all. 
Overall, no, I personally do not recommend this book.  The actual storyline is good, pretty great in fact, but I couldn’t enjoy it due to the way it was written.  I will reiterate my early statement though, I am in the VAST minority when it comes to my feelings and review of this book, so regardless of my measly opinion, there is a huge majority that absolutely love this book and that many people can’t be wrong, right?  So, if silly, over-dramatic descriptions do not really bother you, then you might find that you will actually enjoy this book, but for me I experienced an unfavorable assessment…in other words, for me it was a no.
Happy reading, until next time...

No comments:

Post a Comment